THE GREEN CARD LOTTERY
The DV Lottery began around the time of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. The act erased origin and ethnicity from process for immigration and allowed a specific number of Green Card allocations per country. Families currently living in the U.S. could fill in petition forms for family members that were still out of the country and help them to receive Green Card status.
At first, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act preferred immigrants from Europe. But because ethnicity and origin were no longer taken into account during the immigration process, there was an increase of Asian and Latin individuals immigrating to the U.S. In 1978, Congress allowed Western Hemisphere countries’ residence to apply for immigration, which made the diversity of people now living in the U.S. much greater.
The First DV Lottery
Because of the lack of family members that could petition on their behalf, most Irish individuals found it difficult to qualify for a Diversity Visa in the early days. Because of this, Irish individuals who had tourist visas visit the U.S. often overstayed.
A huge number of Italians wishing to immigrate to America came to light by the 1970s, meaning there was a large backlog of applicants. Officials representing Italian and Irish people came together to help immigration processes for these individuals.
They gave two cases in their argument:
- The concept of considering “New seed” immigrants. This would allow unmarried, young immigrants to come to America and be excused from labor requirements.
- The contributions of historical immigrants that helped build the U.S.
When the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed, the DV Lottery started offering Green Cards.
Expanding the Green Card Lottery
After the Immigration Act of 1990 passed, the Green Card Lottery was changed:
- It offered an extra 30,000 Green Cards (40,000 in total).
- The Lottery stopped being “first come, first served”. Each application would enter a pool with all other applications. A computer selected numbers which would indicate the applications that would win Green Cards.
Another change came to the Green Card Lottery in 1995, allocating an additional 10,000 visas to the Lottery program; making the total 50,000.
What began as a simple way to address the immigrant issues in United States during the 1960s and 1970s became one of the most beloved U.S. governmental programs. With the DV Lottery program, every applicant who wanted to move over to the U.S. was given a fair and equal chance at doing so, no matter which country they resided it, or what ethnicity they were.
The United states is, by far, one of the most diverse countries in the world. The individuals who make up the U.S. speak over 300 languages, cover every religion, and 1 in 5 of the people in America are either first-gen or second-gen immigrants.
The United States is the only country that has a Green Card Lottery, which gives foreign nationals the right easily earn a Green Card and start a new life in America.